About

The short of it

Jaclyn Tan

I'm Jaclyn, a designer and front end developer based in Perth, Australia.


My journey in web development started when I was around 14 when I began self-teaching myself in art, design, and code. Since then I have freelanced, achieved a Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design, and profesionally worked as a digital designer and front-end developer for over six years.

I currently build and design websites at a little studio in Perth, and am constantly trying to improve my skills and evolve my point of view. Minimalism, iridescence, sparkles, and 90’s notalgia are my aesthetic.

When I’m not designing or coding, you can probably find me reading (fantasy / gothic / thrillers are my fave), playing some sort of strategy/simulation game, or drawing some digital art. <3

Click here if you want to check out my personal art/design blog where I rant about all sorts of other things non web-dev related.

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧

unicorntears.dev is my attempt at writing about web development from a designer’s point of view. I personally know quite a few people who have forayed into web development, but have gotten stuck because of the many jargon-filled online resources and courses you can find online. I strongly believe in a web that is accessible to as many people as possible, so I want to create a space that will hopefully help people like me, who was pretty lost and clueless when I first seriously started working within modern web development.


The long of it

This site was born from an in-joke I have at work - we have codenames for our boilerplate themes/tools and I thought unicorn tears seemed appropriate, because I find I am often learning professional web development skills at an exponential pace and realising there are better ways of doing things than what I was previously doing.

When I say designer stuck in web development hell I of course say that with the utmost love and respect for the craft. The art of solving each little problem to solve the bigger problem of creating a gloriously interactive and tangible website is what gets me excited about working with pixels. Digital design and development is my happy place.

Being a self taught developer is often challenging, surprising, and satisfying. Understanding how to solve a problem often feels like one step closer to unlocking the secrets of the universe, and achieving something you didn’t think was possible before is an indescribably powerful feeling.

I’ve worn a lot of hats over the years, which has exposed me to different ways of thinking and informed me on how to solve problems in different ways. I discovered a love for simple, elegant, and readable code, and the ever-changing pursuit of the perfect workflow.

The most interesting part about my journey so far is learning how similar design is to development. They are both extremely creative disciplines that often involve abstract ways of solving problems, and to succeed requires not just problem solving skills, but patience, empathy, communication, and resiliency.

I am a designer who started off working professionally in the print world, but digital design has always been my first love. I was making website layouts when I was 14, and have never really stopped pursuing different perspectives and ways of working since. Having worked in this field for a while now, I’ve realised how impactful my work can be. I am an idealist, but I hope I can use my skills to reach a better place of understanding and peace between people of all walks of life through art, design, and code.


Credits

  • Supreme for copy
  • Space Mono for code
  • Hugo

If you are looking for a quick and easy start to making a website, you may be interested in my personal WordPress boilerplate.

It is a super simple, yet super powerful bare bones theme that features many useful scaffolding features such as pre=built acf blocks, page layouts, and mobile menus. Every website I build starts with this theme.

There is even a related gulpfile you can use alongside it to build and manage multiple WordPress installs locally on your machine.

Check it out here.